Does the means justify the ends in our workplaces and organisations?
Disengagement in the workplace is rife, mental illness and mental distress in the workplace is epidemic.
How can we as organisations, create a workplace culture that nurtures the whole person and still achieve organisational purpose?
The answer is not more technology. It's not more research or employee surveys.
It's not more money, or mission, vision and values, or sky diving as a team.
The answer is in community building, and the best tools humanity has for community building are ancient - circle, storytelling, purpose and play.
Teams are the building block of organisations, and yet for all their importance in the effectiveness of the organisation, we give their structure and processes relatively little attention.
In a hierarchy the focus is on the pyramid, the line of management is how we control and measure what is done. Within this structure ‘team’ often simply means a group of people under a particular manager.
But a team can be so much more and so much more effective. A team can be a place to belong, to be in relationship, to connect, to really be seen and heard, to matter.
In any workplace, people in a team have something in common, and paying attention to the field of this commons is like tending the soil of your garden. It is in this field of commons that trust, connection, hope and humanity exist.
Sitting in circle, listening to each other, sharing stories and understanding our common purpose, makes us whole, it provides balance to the intellectualisation of life, to the abstraction of work. It allows us to be fully human with hearts and bodies, history and experience. It takes courage and commitment but human centred processes give far more than they take.
But these tools are practices not a products.
They require commitment not consumption.
Story Wise has developed a customised team program for organisations, combining circle process, story sharing & skill building and group purpose and values. The outcomes are:
A group culture that listens and allows each other to be heard
A simple but powerful ongoing set of team practices, co-created by the group
A bunch of great stories, personal and organisational; and
An bonded, collaborative and purposeful team, able to achieve far more than the sum of its parts
About Kate Lawrence
I spent over 20 years communicating like a lawyer, writing like the Wizard of Oz, as if there was no-one behind the paper screen. It has taken me a long time to deconstruct my communication style, to be able to speak like… me.
I needed to nurture my imagination, become a student of story, get over a tiny, repetitive and powerful voice saying ‘You can’t do that’, let go of the printed page, and really make sense of who I am, what I have experienced and what I believe.
For last ten years I've been studying and practising, telling and teaching stories. I've found, crafted, practiced and shared stories, over and over and over again. I’ve listened, I’ve coached and I’ve taught countless people to love and think and tell story. I’ve created safe space and hosted, I’ve won the Moth story slam twice and given a TEDx talk once. It is my passion and tool of choice to change the world.